Independence Day Oatmeal Cream Pies: White Chocolate, Blueberry, Oatmeal Cookies with Raspberry Filling

Happy belated 4th of July!  I’m going to make this post short and sweet as I try to get back into the work week after a great 4th of July weekend!

The great thing about having this blog is that it forces me to be creative.  My default for the 4th of July is usually a pie (and I made one of those too this year…just couldn’t help myself).  Pies are usually pretty quick and easy to make, and with so much great fuit in season in July, they are the perfect BBQ dessert!

However, I hadn’t blogged in a while (sorry) so I decided to dig into my creative side and create a new 4th of July themed cookie.  Insprired by red, white and blue, I created my own version of an Oatmeal Cream Pie (my favorite dessert snack as a kid).  I hate raisins in anything (except for Joanne Chang’s carrot cake) so those were out.  Instead I replaced them with dried blueberries and white chocolate chips.  To make these taste lighter and more summery, I replaced the nutmeg and cinnamon called for in the original recipe with lemon zest.  Finally, I made a raspberry frosting for the filling (first seen on the blog here) to complete the traditional 4th of July red, white, and blue theme!  While my triple berry crostata was the first dessert to go, the cookies were a success…a few even dug in before the pork and burgers!

White Chocolate, Blueberry, Oatmeal Cream Pies with Raspberry Filling

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
1 3/4 cup old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
1 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest, making sure there are no lumps of baking soda. Stir in the oats, dried blueberries and white chocolate chips.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. On low speed, or by hand, gradually add the flour and oat mixture to the creamed butter, mixing until completely incorporated.

Chill the batter a few hours or overnight, covered. (This step is optional, although recommended)

To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Scoop out 1 Tbs balls of cookie dough and bake until just browning, about 9-10 minutes.  Let cool completely on wire racks.

Raspberry Filling

12 oz raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, divided

Heat raspberries in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are broken down. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Return puree to the saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced slightly so you end up with about 1/2 cup of raspberry puree (about 3-5 minutes). Let sit at room temperature for about an hour and then chill in refrigerator 1-2 hours until cool and thick. Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.

In a stand-mixer with a whip attachment, whip the butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar until combined. Add the raspberry mixture (1/2 cup) and mix to combine. Gradually add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients. Continue to whip for 1-2 minutes until frosting is lighter in color.

Assembly

Once cookies are completely cooled, pipe (or spread, but piping looks prettier!) a generous teaspoon of raspberry frosting onto the bottom side cookie. Place another cookie on top and gently press down until frosting reaches the edges of the cookie.  Enjoy! (Warning: you will have extra frosting!)

Beer and Cheese Class with Night Shift Brewing and Formaggio Kitchen

Two weeks ago was the first night of my new job: event photographer for Formaggio Kitchen (I’m working on my back up plan in case this whole surgery thing doesn’t work out).  I still consider myself a very amateur photographer so I was more than happy to get paid in beer and cheese (obviously the best form of payment)!

While many in the area are familiar with Formaggio Kitchen (and their fantastic array of cheeses, charcuterie, and other specialty food items), some of you may not know that they offer an amazing selection of classes at their learning annex, often partnering with other local producers and chefs.

Last week they paired up with Night Shift Brewing to demystify beer and cheese pairings. Night Shift Brewing started off as a trio of friends brewing beer in a 5 gallon pot with a homebrew kit and has now grown to a popular craft microbrewery and tap room in Everett, MA.  Their beers can be found in many bars in the greater Boston area (or visit their tap room!).

While cheese is more commonly paired with wine, I found out last night that it pairs beautifully with carefully selected beers as well!  Full disclosure:  I’m not a huge beer drinker.  I tend to gravitate more towards wine and cocktails but I thoroughly enjoyed all of Night Shift’s offerings last night, especially paired with delicious cheese.

The night started out with a sampling of one of their signature beers, Whirlpool, a pale ale with grapefruit and peach flavors, perfect for a hot summer’s night…or really anytime!

After a brief introduction, we then moved on to the beer and cheese pairings, led by Asa Waters of Night Shift Brewing, and Tripp Nichols from Formaggio Kitchen.

The first paired beer was a very  generous pour of the Belafonte Saison, a classic saison brewed with pink peppercorns and orange peel.  Another great refreshing beer for summer…I have a feeling I might be drinking more beer during the summer after this class!

The saison was paired with two different cheeses:

  • Comté Fort Saint Antoine- a hard cow’s milk cheese from Jura, France, similar to a Swiss Gruyere, with a dark nutty flavor
  • Chèvre du Haut Bearn- an aged goat’s milk cheese from Pyrenees, France, with bright, tart, and salty flavors

The spicy notes of the beer from the pink peppercorn really worked well to balance out both cheeses.  My favorite pairing was the chèvre, but the crowd favorite, by a long-shot, was the Comté.  What can I say? I’m a sucker for salty cheeses!

Next we transitioned to a sour beer, the Diagonal.  This is a more experimental beer fermented with lactobacillus as well as chamomile lemon verbena.  This gives it an herbal back bone to complement the tart and sour notes.

The Diagonal was paired with two local cheeses:

  • Lea’s Great Meadow- a goat’s milk cheese from Ruggles Hill Creamery in Hardwick, MA, a soft creamy cheese with an herbaceous undertone
  • Verano- a hard sheep’s milk cheese from Vermont Shepherd in Putney, VT, with a tanginess and saltiness that paired very nicely with the tart Diagonal

I absolutely loved the floral/herbal goat cheese but, unfortunately, my friend’s husband stole the rest of my piece!  Luckily I was able to drown my sorrows in more beer (and cheese)!

From sour and tangy we moved on to a darker, sweeter beer, the Trifecta Belgian Ale, my personal favorite of the night.  This is brewed with three Trappist yeasts with the addition of vanilla beans (what a wonderful idea!).  The result is a wonderful smooth, fruity and crisp beer.

The two cheese pairings were:

  • Tunworth- a super gooey, strong, creamy, wash-rind cow’s milk cheese from Herrland Hampshire, UK,(my favorite of the night)
  • Ouleout- a soft cow’s milk cheese from Vulto Creamery in Hamden, VT  with a touch of funk

Everyone loved the creamy Tunworth and I couldn’t stop eating it the rest of the night!

The final beer of the night was the 87, their double IPA.  Brewed with “tons” of American hops, this beer is a little more textural and sweeter than the previous beers.  A touch of bitterness pairs it well with salty, strong blue cheese.

  • Bayley Hazen Blue- a cow’s milk blue cheese from the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, VT, very similar to a Stilton but cheaper and made locally!
  • Colston Bassett Stilton- cow’s milk from Neal’s Yard Dairy, UK, the “king of cheese”, a classic blue cheese with rich flavors, high in salt

Overall, it was a fantastic night full of good beer and cheese (and a Taylor Swift after hours dance party) led by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff from Night Shift Brewing and Formaggio Kitchen.  If you missed this event, Formaggio Kitchen has several more beer and cheese classes this summer featuring several different local breweries.  And don’t forget to check out the tap room at Night Shift Brewing!

Mini Blueberry Thyme Crostatas

Alas, the cold weather is finally gone and we seem to have fast forwarded through spring and into summer with the blink of an eye.  While I really shouldn’t complain about the heat after our awful winter…it is really hot!!! Especially when you have no air conditioning because your building is fixing your pipes through June (insert sad violin melody here).

So to welcome “summer”, and full embrace the heat, I decided to warm up my steamy apartment a little more by baking! (Clearly I have my priorities straight.)  Blueberries are one of my favorite summer fruits (along with raspberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries watermelon…) and they were on sale at my local Whole Foods (Paycheck) so I decided to adapt one of my favorite crostata recipes.

The original recipe is for an apple crostata but last summer I substituted apples for peaches with a beautiful result.  This time I decided to go mini (yes, I have an obsession with mini desserts) with blueberries as the star, minus the buttery streusel.  Could it be that I’m trying to bake a little healthier? Or maybe I just got lazy…  I love using herbs and citrus in baking so I added some lemon zest to the crust and some fresh thyme to the blueberries.

They are delicious on their own, or if you want to increase your daily calcium and vitamin D intake, you can top with a whipped mascarpone cream (equal parts whipping cream and mascarpone, whipped until thick and creamy and flavored with a touch of powdered sugar and vanilla).

Final note to self: Making pie dough in 80+ weather with no AC is a little difficult and requires much refrigeration in between steps.  Best to avoid, if possible, until AC situation remedied!  Try ice cream instead :)

Mini Blueberry Thyme Crostatas

(makes about 5 crostatas)

Crust: (Adapted from Kosher by Design cookbook)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 sticks (1 cup, 16 Tbs) unsalted butter, cold, cut into about 8 pieces
4-5 Tbs ice water

Blueberry Thyme Filling:

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs flour
1 Tbs cornstarch
dash of cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Egg wash:

1 egg mixed with 1 Tbs water

For the crust:

In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, sugar and lemon zest 2-3 times until mixed.  Add the chilled butter.  Pulse until mixture resembles peas.  Add the ice water 1 Tbs at a time until the dough just comes together.

Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Knead briefly to bring together in a ball and flatten slightly into a disc.   Chill  for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

For the blueberries:

Mix all of the above ingredients together.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough out until it reaches 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into 6 inch rounds, I used a bowl as my guide.  After cutting the first 2-3 rounds, you’ll need to re-roll the scraps to cut more.  If dough becomes too soft and difficult to roll, refrigerate again for about 10 minutes.  You should get 5 small circles.

Spoon blueberry filling into the center, leaving at least a 1 inch border.  Be careful not to overfill, you will likely have leftover filling.

Fold the edges over the filling, covering about an inch of filling all around.  Make sure to seal any seams so it stays folded while baking.  Brush the crust with the egg wash.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown and blueberries are bubbling.  (If crust browns too quickly, you can cover crust with tinfoil with center cut out.)  Remove from oven and cool for at least one hour.  Enjoy!

Charoset Ice Cream with Manischewitz Raspberry Sauce

There has been a lot of hype this year (or as much hype as anything passover inspired can garner) over the new Charoset ice cream by Ben & Jerry’s. Consisting of a vanilla base with a swirl of apples and nuts, this new ice cream debuted just in time for Passover.

But don’t forget, I had this idea first!!!

Last year, when brainstorming ideas for Passover ice cream, my first thought was to make a charoset inspired ice cream with a Manischewitz base. Unfortunately, my friends vetoed this idea but we ended up with a super delicious chocolate covered matzo ice cream instead.  However, I vowed to make it this year…although with a slightly improved and re-worked concept. And make it I did! (along with 2 chocolate cakes, chocolate covered matzo ice cream and coconut macaroons)

I decided to forego the Manischewitz ice cream base (the main source of concern from my friends) in favor of a cinnamon ice cream.  I then mixed in candied walnuts and cooked apples and topped it with a Manischewitz raspberry sauce.  While the chocolate covered matzo ice cream was still the favorite, everyone seemed to like the charoset ice cream (and the Manischewitz sauce!).  This might be the start of a new passover tradition!  Or I could always try to make a maror ice cream next year. :)

Disclosure:  This ice cream contains corn syrup and corn starch and therefore does not adhere to strict Ashkenazi Passover rules.

Charoset Ice Cream: Cinnamon ice cream with apples and candied walnuts

Candied Walnuts
(adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 cup walnuts (about 3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine walnuts and all remaining ingredients in medium bowl; toss to coat. Spread nut mixture on prepared baking sheet (some nuts may clump together). Bake until nuts are deep golden and sugar mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container.)

Apples:

1 1/2 apples of your choosing, chopped into small cubes
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
dash of ground cinnamon

Heat the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Once melted, add the apples, sugar and cinnamon and toss to coat.  Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, and then set aside.

Cinnamon Ice cream:
(adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream)

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Prep
Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Cook
Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar,  corn syrup, and cinnamon sticks in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Chill
Gradually strain the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze
Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.  Add the end, add in the apples and candied walnuts.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Serve with Manischewitz sauce below.

Manischewitz Raspberry Sauce

1 1/2 Cups Manischewitz wine
10 oz frozen raspberries, defrosted
1/4 cup sugar

Bring the Manishcewitz wine to a boil and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes.  Add the raspberries and sugar and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  Allow to cool and then carefully transfer to a blender and blend until liquified.  Strain sauce and then cool.  Can be made 2 days ahead of time.  Spoon over ice cream for the complete charoset experience.

Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

 

Last week my friend and I ventured out to try a new(ish) ramen restaurant for lunch.  After stuffing our bellies to the brim full of rich chicken broth, noodles and pork to the point that we couldn’t eat any more ramen, we decided we really wanted some warm, gooey white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Yes, there is a separate dessert stomach…I’m a doctor, I know these things.  Unfortunately (or perhaps for our waistlines, fortunately), we couldn’t find any cookies up to our standards (although we didn’t look too hard because by then, the food coma had already set in), so I decided to take matters into my own hands…but with a twist.

I’ve been seeing dessert recipes utilizing matcha green tea recently, such as these cookies from Bon Appetit and this vertical roll cake, and have wanted to experiment with some of my own creations. Matcha is a shockingly bright green powder made from ground green tea leaves.  It reportedly boosts energy with anti-oxidants and caffeine and has been popping up in coffee and tea houses around the country.  You can read more about it here.

Since this was my first recipe experimenting with matcha, I decided to start simple and these cookies were the perfect opportunity.  The recipe is very straight forward; it’s as easy as adding 2 Tbs of matcha powder to the flour and then making the cookies per usual.  It’s pure coincidence that these green beauties are just in time for St. Patty’s Day!

Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
(recipe modified from Flour)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup bread flour
2 Tbs match green tea powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
11 oz white chocolate chips
1 cup salted and roasted macadamia nuts, chopped

If you’re baking the cookies on the same day you prepare the batter, heat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or mixing by hand with a wooden spoon), beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about five minutes. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle itself a few times; the sugar and butter love to collect here and stay unmixed. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on medium speed until thoroughly combined, two to three minutes. Again scrape the bowl and the paddle to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.

Mix together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, matcha powder, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer to low speed (or continue to use a wooden spoon if mixing by hand) and slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture until just mixed.  Add the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts and mix until incorporated.

For best results, scrape dough into a container and let rest in the refrigerator for a day before baking. The next day, heat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center of the oven. Scoop the dough into 1 Tbs balls onto a baking sheet with parchment paper about two inches apart. Press dough balls down slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake until cookies are just starting to brown at the edges about 8-10 minutes. They will still be very soft in the center. Remove from oven and let cool. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. The unbaked dough can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

People often ask me how I got into cooking and I don’t really have a great answer.  There was no lightening moment for me.  It just happened gradually over time, starting around college, each year getting more and more into the world of the culinary arts.  Along the way there have been a lot of influences, starting with watching a lot of Food Network: Bobby Flay, Alton Brown (if you haven’t been to his live road show GO!!!), Ina Garten, and Giada De Laurentis.

I have since “outgrown” most of the Food Network shows (and have less time to watch them), but I still turn to my old favorites for some classic tried-and-true recipes.  This lemon ricotta muffin recipe by Giada is one of them!  It is basically foolproof.  Delicious, lemony, soft muffins with just the right amount of sweetness. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack!

Lemon Ricotta Muffins (Biscuits) from Giada De Laurentis

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar or more as needed for sprinkling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended (the batter will be thick and fluffy).

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar over the muffins. Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

S’mores Cupcakes

Super Bowl Sunday is obviously a huge holiday in my life…who can resist chips and guacamole (or as we called it “gronkamole”), buffalo wings and tenders, cornbread, chili, and cupcakes? Oh and apparently it also involves some sort of sports game involving men tackling each other in tights with deflated balls…and Katy Perry.

But I digress…Sunday night my friends and I gathered together for the 3rd year in a row to make an awesome Super Bowl feast and to watch a pretty exciting Patriots’ win!  In addition to the cornbread, I was in charge of the dessert (per usual).  I  had been wanting to test out an idea I had for s’mores cupcakes and this was the perfect opportunity.  Especially since I could top the cupcakes with toasted and…DEFLATED marshmallows and make fun of the “deflategate” controversy.

Most recipes I’ve seen use a chocolate cupcake as a base for s’mores cupcakes.  However, I decided to go with a brown sugar and cinnamon cupcake to simulate a cinnamon graham cracker.  I then filled them with a marshmallow filling (made from Fluff!!!) and topped it with my favorite chocolate ganache frosting recipe from Flour Bakery.  And of course, the final touch is a marshmallow on top that is toasted (broiled/torched) just before serving.

They were the perfect treat to enjoy while watching the Patriots win their 4th Super Bowl victory!

S’mores Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cupcakes (Adapted from 52kitchenadeventures.com)
Yields 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Marshmallow Filling (from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 ½ tablespoon heavy cream

Chocolate Ganache Frosting (from Flour Bakery)

12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or can use semisweet chocolate chips- recommend Ghiradelli brand)
1 cup heavy cream 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

12 large marshmallows

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk, stirring after each until everything is combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the filling: Cream together all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment until homogenous.  Transfer to a pastry bag.

Cut out a small circle in the center of each cupcake.  You may reserve these to put back in place after filling the cupcakes.

Pipe marshmallow frosting into each hollowed out center.   Cover, if desired, with reserved cupcake cut-outs (you’ll probably want to trim them).

For the frosting:

In a small saucepan, scald the cream over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sitfor about 1 minute, then slowly whisk together until completely melted and smooth. Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until completely cool ( or refrigerate for about 30 min whisking every 10 minutes)

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachement (or can use a handheld mixer) and beat butter on medium-low speed for 10-15 seconds, until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes until mixture if fluffy and smooth. On medium speed, add the cooled ganache and beat until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Stop to scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Turn up mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute until frosting lightens in color and thickens.

Frost each cupcake, preferably piping from a pastry bag.

To toast the marshmallows, preheat your broiler.  Toast marshmallows until browned on top and melting- should take less than 1 minute, DO NOT leave unattended.

Alternatively, you can toast over a gas burner or with a creme brûlée torch.

Let marshmallows cool for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer to tops of cupcakes- warning: marshmallows will be sticky and a little difficult to transfer!